The Pitttsburgh Riverhounds (0-0-1) continue to seek victory on the road Saturday evening as they take the team bus to City Stadium in Virginia to do battle with the 2013 USL Pro regular-season champion Richmond Kickers (0-0-1).
The home opener for the Kickers is set to get underway at 5 p.m. A live stream of the game will be available on the USL Pro’s YouTube channel.
Last Saturday, the Hounds opened the 2014 season with a 1-1 draw in Florida against the defending USL Pro champions Orlando City. 2013 league MVP and leading scorer Jose Angulo had Pittsburgh’s lone goal.
During the contest, starting goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap had a head-to-head collision with Lions center back Robert Valentino in the box and was removed from the game with a concussion. Gilstrap underwent surgery for a fractured cheekbone this week and is expected to be out of action for at least two weeks.
With Gilstrap injured, former Slippery Rock University standout Greg Blum came off the bench and made two saves over the final 20 minutes in Orlando to preserve the draw. Hounds coach Justin Evans has given the starting nod this week to Blum in the contest against Richmond.
Blum, from Ambridge, Pa., has been with the Hounds since March 2011, and will be backed up by Michael Lisch, who is on loan to Pittsburgh from its Major League Soccer affiliate, the Houston Dynamo.
The Kickers opened their 2014 campaign also on the road last weekend with a 2-2 draw at Blackbaud Stadium against the Charleston Battery. The Hounds will need to keep an eye on Richmond’s newly acquired midfielder George Davis IV, as he accounted for both of the Kickers goals. For his efforts, Davis was named the USL Pro player of the week.
Richmond goalkeeper Joe Willis, who is on loan from MLS partner D.C. United, will be making his first start for the Kickers. Over the past three seasons, Willis has made 23 appearances with D.C., starting 22 for United, and posted six wins along with four shutouts.
In 2013, Pittsburgh and Richmond opened the season with a 0-0 draw April 6, and closed out the regular-season with a 1-1 draw Aug. 17.
The Hounds’ home opener with the Wilmington Hammerheads at Highmark Stadium is set for next Saturday at 7 p.m.
Riverhounds Reinforcements: The Hounds recieved two selections to the USL Pro Team of the Week for Week 2: midfielder Anthony Obodai and defender Anthony Arena, the latter of whom is on-loan from the Houston Dynamo. Blum and Angulo both earned honorable mentions for Team of the Week.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for two of the Riverhounds when they take the field against Richmond. Midfielder Joseph Ngwenya had 11 goals and six assists with the Kickers last season before signing with Pittsburgh in 2014 and forward Jason Johnson, on loan from MLS affiliate, the Houston Dynamo, was a selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft out of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.